Metair's extended-range plug-in vehicle

The car may look like a throwback, but the important bits are on the inside. South Africa-based Metair takes a retrofitted two-door hatchback and uses it to show off what the group says is the most advanced lead-acid battery around.

By US and Japanese standards, Metair went decidedly low-budget, spending the equivalent of about $6,500 in component costs and about $55,000 in total development costs for what it calls the Met-Elec-R60. The company isn't disclosing much on the vehicle's performance except, according to Engineering News, to clarify that the car's a plug-in with a small gas engine used as an on-board generator. As for Metair's battery, the Raylite Ultimate is the "most recyclable" of its kind, while being leak proof as well as a stronger charge than comparable lead-acid batteries.

Metair took the EV into public, even stopping by a Shell gas station to impress and confuse the workers there. Check out Metair's two-minute video of its extended-range plug-in below, and note that the charge cord is stored, coiled, in the car. This is unlike every other EV we can think of, and probably only works on one-off conversions like this. Oh, and based on the lean, we're pretty sure the batteries are stored in the rear.